May 2, 2014

State Roundup, May 2, 2014

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HEALTH CARE SIGNUPS: Newly released figures show that Maryland fell far short of projections enrolling residents for private insurance through its troubled health exchange, even as national enrollment figures exceeded expectations, according to an AP story in the Hagerstown Herald Mail. Elsewhere in the Tri-State region, Pennsylvania outpaced expectations for enrollment, while West Virginia had some of the lowest number of younger adults who signed up for health insurance.

CROSS-STATE POLLUTION: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding EPA rules on cross-state pollution and why this is good news for Maryland.

CELLPHONE SEARCHES: The editorial board for the Frederick News Post writes about the constitutionality of cellphone searches, which will likely be challenged again in the future. In fact, that could even happen with Maryland’s new “Jake’s Law”– which, if they have probable cause, permits police to collect certain cellphone information from a person involved in a serious automobile crash. It does not permit police to go on a cellphone fishing expedition or access conversations, text messages or emails to see what they can come up with.

MOVING OUT: According to a Gallup survey, writes Mark Newgent for Red Maryland, nearly half of all Marylanders want to move elsewhere. The poll states that 47% of Marylanders polled said they would like to move out of state. Maryland came in a close third behind Illinois and Connecticut with 50% and 49% respectively.

NEW DISTRICT JUDGES: The U.S. Senate has confirmed two men to serve as judges on U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, according to an AP story in the Annapolis Capital. Maryland Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin had recommended George Hazel and Theodore Chuang to President Obama to fill vacancies on the court. They were confirmed on Thursday.

EDWARDS BACKS BRAVEBOY: Del. Aisha Braveboy will pick up an endorsement Friday of her bid to become Maryland’s next attorney general from U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, John Wagner writes in the Post.

ANTI-BROWN WEBSITE: Attorney General Doug Gansler’s campaign for governor launched a new website Thursday with the sole purpose of criticizing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, the front-runner in the June 24 Democratic primary. The new site, http://thebuckdoesntstophere.com/, focuses mostly on Brown’s role in the botched implementation of Maryland’s health insurance exchange website.

BROWN LOSING THE DEBATE: In the ongoing debate over the gubernatorial debates, the editorial board for the Sun writes that Doug Gansler and Heather Mizeur might be inclined to beat up on Anthony Brown in a debate format, but appearing to duck a televised debate may do Brown just as much harm. In general, the lieutenant governor seems to have approached the race cautiously, as if recognizing that it’s his to lose. That may be a winning strategy, but it’s hardly inspiring to those voters who like a candidate who fearlessly takes on challenges of any kind.

NO PLEDGE PLEDGE: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com reports that a dozen business groups representing thousand of business owners in Maryland are sending out a letter Friday to all candidates for the General Assembly asking them “not to sign any pledges or commitments that will make Maryland’s small businesses less competitive with surrounding jurisdictions (e.g. new taxes).”

POLITICAL PULSE: MarylandReporter.com’s editor Len Lazarick discussed the statewide races for a half-hour on Charles Duffy’s Political Pulse program, which runs on Montgomery County cable. Here’s a link to the video of the show.

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DISTRICT 30B: Michael McNelly is running for District 30B in the House of Delegates. The Annapolis Capital continues its op-ed series of allowing candidates to introduce themselves. McNelly writes that from Day 1, he has treated this campaign like a job interview and the voters as his employer. The first thing an employer reviews is a resume, and for the Democratic primary election on June 24, writes McNelly, there is a stark difference between his resume and that of his opponent.

BROCHIN’S SURROGATE: In the District 42 Senate race, Connie DeJuliis challenges incumbent state Sen. Jim Brochin, but ends up debating the more progressive Sen. Jamie Raskin, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for MarylandReporter.com.

DISTRICT 47B: Arelis Hernández of the Post reports that Natalie Cabrera’s name will not be on the June primary ballot for state delegate in a new Prince George’s County legislative District 47B, which is majority-Latino, an appeals court panel ruled Thursday, because she was not a registered Democrat when she filed papers to run for the party’s nomination.

NEUMAN CO-OPS SCHUH VIDEO: Del. Steve Schuh, who is running in the Republican primary for Anne Arundel County executive, launched a short campaign video on Monday, and one of the most surprising places it was shared was County Executive Laura Neuman’s campaign Facebook page, Rick Hutzell reports in the Annapolis Capital.

SUN BUYS ANNAPOLIS CAPITAL: The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced Thursday it has purchased The Capital in Annapolis, the Carroll County Times and other area publications and websites, a move that expands its journalistic footprint in Maryland.